How to be objective when you're from Roazhon, Western France and you've been listening to Thrash Metal
for 35 years and in 2013 you discovered a small band of 20-year-old thrashers or barely more from your city, who explode the stages and incidentally the guitars too, that you see in 4/5 years live more times than ADX
in 30 years combined ?
Well, it's simple, you let the heart speak.
Started in 2012
with a demo "First Hexecution
" without much pretention, but which did not leave indifferent, a 4 track Ep 2 years later "Hangmen of Roazhon
" with 4 old School Thrash warheads, then an album in 2016 "Poison
”searched but imperfect, the band participated a few festivals and tours, Hexecutor
set the bar quite high both on stage and on record. This is the context in which this new album is expected, progression ? stagnation ? ...
Provided with a few demo recordings and rough mixes, I was able to get a preview of the band's work and I can say that the release was a long wait ! but the complete discovery of this work now leaves no room for doubt.
How to qualify a musical work if it is not by the quality of the compositions, by the general color of the sounds and the atmosphere that emerges from them, or by the common thread that connects the songs ?
Here it is not only a succession of 8 inspired tunes, but the fruit of a long gestation of several years during which the band forged its style, its virtuosity and affirmed its song and musical writing. We are indeed dealing with this Beyond
Any Human Conception
of Knowledge ... a concept album with an artwork by Jon Whiplash
which perfectly reflects the sound environment and the themes addressed in the lyrics. A tribute to the ancients through the terrifying stories of the Breton oral tradition but also by the multiple musical influences and not only drawn from the world of Metal
This second album has all the ingredients to be compared to the greatest achievements of French Heavy Metal
, European and even… why not !?
The Hangmen of Rennes take us on an epic trip through the history and legends of Brittany, but here, nor pixie, nor unicorns neither even less hooded Merlin
, They talk about satanic devils and living books that haunt the Breton countryside between Trégor and Léon, about mysterious massacres promulgated by damned spirits not far from Plumeliau, orgiastic and deviant practices in the bay of Douarnenez, they deal with the mysterious burial of a certain “White Lady
” at the Château de Trecesson in Campénéac of whom it is said that she still roams the places, but they also glorify the Nature of the forest of Paimpont and the Heroism of Surcouf facing the English Navy in St Malo. Anyway
, it's no coincidence, Hexecutor
is in Brittany, their music seems inspired by what surrounds them and obviously they wanted to say it and have it carved into letters of Heavy Metal
On the first album, there was already evidence of songwriting talent and historical inspiration for the composition of the music, but here we are moving up a gear with a better sound, an unhealthy atmosphere, an even more assertive and mature style.
After these words, let's get straight to the facts, what emerges from these 8 tracks is an epic Heavy Black Thrash Metal
with a succession of varied riffs and a mess of solos. Yes Black Metal
is what surprises at first glance, the band has blackened its music, even on the Heavy tunes, the guitars riffs often sound throbbing melodies evoking the atmospheres of Blood Fire
Death from Bathory
or Phoenix Rising
from Destroyer 666
It would be reductive to compare this record to the multiple artists who influenced Hexecutor
's music, as it is precisely the result of all these influences, varied and combined, such as Classic Hard
'n Heavy from UFO
or Thin Lizzy
, Speed Metal
and Thrash somewhere between the early Running Wild
, and Razor
! but never too far from the Black / Death of Darkthrone
! and so on…
The production which was entrusted to close friends of the band, Romain Baousson assisted by Wenceslas Carrieu (Cadaveric Fumes
) has a balanced rendering, they did not fall into the trap of a massive and overwhelming production such as "modern" could be. it highlights perfectly Maeströr's deep bass and VonRotten's compulsive drumming.
The guitars are masterful, they respond or complement each other in powerriffs and solos, the playing of Joey and Jey is harmoniously intertwined with a lot of feeling and mastery, the few very particular tones in staccato that can be found on Kroez Er Vossen, Ker Ys or Eternal
Impenitence surprise at first glance and contribute to the complex structure of the pieces - the sequences are structured like movements, as a nod to the classical influences of the band ... overall it is rarely demonstrative.
What about the vocals of Jey Deflagratör ? incisive and convincing whose timbre sometimes goes into overdrive at the bend riffs acceleration and going up to high-pitched drifts with powerful and almost "inhabited" cries.
of the Seven Seas
is one of the album's master tracks, the heaviest of all with its martial riffs, explosive drums, catchy chorus supported by warrior choirs and its surge of early Helloweenian solos at the end.
Ker Ys with its jerky riff surprises the listener by quickly taking him or her to an almost Voivodian universe - the guitars are omnipresent and the lyrics in French are catchy like this refrain at 2'00 “Païenne dans le sang, Fiancée à l'océan, Submersion d’impies errants, Tu jouis de mon châtiment…. Tu attises ma haine, J’écorche tes rêves, J’écarte tes lèvres, Tu coules ma reine !!! » And
the song ends in apotheosis of solos from 2'50 ... orgasmic !.
is another strong tune of the album, built in 2 stages with a narrative part in which Jey strikes the story of these hordes of satanic living dead who came to carry out several massacres at the Calvaries of Kerguh and from 2'15 the second part is an instrumental movement describing the scene of this obscene nightmare… masterpiece ! This track was dedicated to the memory of Mathieu Broquerie, Voight Kampf guitarist.
Strong tracks yes, 4 tunes are over 7 minutes long, an instrumental "Brecheliant" arises as the theater of Hexecutor
art, and is just a splendid enlightened piece of sound.
Mark in the middle of the album starts unsurprisingly in the traditional register of the band with a fast tempo and galloping riffs, but after the first 2 minutes, and there are 5 left, the track evolves in mid tempo with a marked Blackened
Thrash hook and a final back to full tempi with a shower of solos and cries… unholly !
This is an artistic success for Hexecutor
who should assert even more of their place on the European scene with this record.
You get it, I took a big blow with a large-format shovel in the face, sorry in advance for the apparent lack of objectivity, it is totally accepted.